Cincinnati Academy of Art celebrates expansion into former BarrelHouse space with weekend block party

Photo: Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts

Cincinnati Academy of Art campus in Over-the-Rhine

The Cincinnati Academy of Art (AAC) is hosting a house party this weekend to celebrate its expansion into the former BarrelHouse Brewing Co. in Over-the-Rhine.

The AAC moved from its former home in Mount Adams to its current building at 1212 Jackson St. in 2005. At that time, the space was attached to the iconic BarrelHouse – a popular music venue and one of the first city ​​microbreweries. – which opened in 1995. The brewery later became a “brewery” and then closed in 2010. The BarrelHouse sat unused until 2019, when the AAC said they had started renovations there.

Now called SITE 1212, the AAC describes the space as a “new center for community impact” and “an open door for problem-solving in the city, leveraging the college’s academic programming and its unique place in the booming arts district”.

Amanda Parker-Wolery, AAC Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment, says CityBeat an example of the impact of SITE 1212 is the recently completed Leadership Academy. The STEAM-focused program aimed to “unlock the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and problem solvers by empowering them in an environment that challenges familiar narratives and constructs associated with black and brown communities.”

To celebrate SITE 1212 and its mission, the AAC is hosting an all-day party on Saturday, August 28 with a preview event on the final Friday, August 27.

From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, the public will be able to preview the space as well as the exhibitions Never a day without drawinghonoring the work of AAC Professor Constance McClure, and House party: Reunionfeaturing the work of AAC alumni.

Click to enlarge Wussy (in duo) will play the party.  - PHOTO: PROVIDED BY WUSSY

Photo: provided by Wussy

Wussy (in duo) will play the party.

As a special bonus, Wussy Duo – featuring Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker – will perform, along with Carriers’ Curt Kiser.

Then on Saturday, the block party lasts from noon to midnight around the school, as well as in the former location of BarrelHouse.

BarrelHouse brewmasters Rick Debar (currently at Ommegang Brewery) and Brian Sprance (now at New Riff Distilling) will serve a BarrelHouse vanilla stout, complete with artwork by AAC grad Jim Effler, who designed the beer’s labels bottled from BarrelHouse.

Local Indie Folk favorites Young Heirlooms will lead the musical portion of the day, with additional tracks from Cincinnati Music Accelerator and Inhailer Radio. There will also be a burlesque show and a fashion show, as well as guided tours of ArtWorks murals.

As part of the block party aspect, vendors and AAC students will be in stalls along Jackson Street, with dishes from Taste of Belgium, Banging Burgers and Hoff’s Pretzel Company.

The event is free and open to the public. Find a full list of musicians and details at

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Mildred D. Field